Trail of the Week: Morning Gloria |

Trail of the Week: Morning Gloria

You'll climb 848 vertical feet on this 4.25-mile trail

Morning Gloria is great riding up or down — downhillers please yield to uphill riders. Hint: bring a bell for the blind corners hidden by ferns.

Season: Mid-May through mid-October

Total mileage: 4.25 miles

Rating: More difficult 

Description: With its whopping 35 switchbacks, or one for every 0.12 miles, this 4.25-mile trail has become an instant Steamboat classic whose quad-friendly gradient makes it one of the easiest ways up to the top of Emerald Mountain. Access it by riding up Lower Lupine, then taking a left at the well-marked trailhead sign. Traversing the east side of Emerald Mountain, its silk-smooth singletrack leads 848 vertical feet through arching scrub oak caverns, platoons of pine trees and fern-filled aspen groves marred by bear claws back and forth up Emerald Mountain. Upon reaching the top at the junction of the Quarry Mountain and Root Canal trails, you can turn around and enjoy the smooth, flowy and fern-filled ride back down or ride any number of alternate routes back down Emerald. It has also become a favorite way to access longer rides up and over Emerald on the Ridge and Beall trails.

Know before you go: This two-directional trail provides one of the easiest, most gradual routes to the top of Emerald Mountain. The trails can get crowded during lunch and after work, so ride with respect for other users and yield to uphill traffic. A bell can come in handy.

Parking: Access Morning Gloria from the three main trailheads serving the numerous riding options on Emerald Mountain. Parking is available at the Rodeo Stables, at Howelsen Lodge and at Blackmer Drive. There are public restrooms at Howelsen Lodge. 

You’ll climb 848 vertical feet on 4.25-mile Morning Gloria trail.

To reach Eugene Buchanan, call 970-871-4276 or email

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